Thursday, September 18, 2014

Is NXT Better?



The jokes have started about NXT being the superior brand to WWE on social media. You would never hear something like this said about the NBDL the developmental league of the NBA. Lebron James is better than anybody they have in the NBDL and that is fact. 

Could we say the same about John Cena and NXT? Is John Cena a better in-ring worker than Kenta, Kevin Steen, Sami Zayn, Prince Devitt and Adrian Neville? He isn’t really is he? John Cena does have experience of working on a much larger stage for almost a decade. You can love him or hate him but that is a fact.

NXT while it is suppose to be a view into the future it also is a glimpse into the past. Just an hour of weekly television and four major events in a year is how NXT works and how the WWF use to be. Could NXT be as compelling and great a show if they had to provide a 3-hour show and 9-10 hours of content overall in a week? The answer is probably not.

Triple H has talked about building NXT into its own brand and they have been relatively successful to this point. This is something that Paul Levesque has been hands on with and has totally changed the direction of the developmental of this company. This company suffered a major gap in finding and developing between when Jim Ross was in charge of talent relations and Triple H. That gap was when John Laurinaitis who did the company a huge disservice for its future. Seems Johnny legacy was hiring a lot of hot women that can’t wrestle. Jim Ross has a legacy of getting guys like Foley, Austin, The Rock and even Paul himself as part of the WWE Roster. The list of talent Paul Levesque is bringing to table is impressive as well. When we look back on it will see if it is as successful as the one J.R compiled but it is clearly better than the one Johnny Ace came up with in his time.

In a fantasy world, would it be cool to see a show with NXT vs. WWE? Absolutely, if you are expecting NXT guys to go over in such a situation though that probably is not going to happen.   You could have some great matches though. Let’s fantasy book a little below:

Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins
Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler
Adrian Neville vs. Dean Ambrose
Kevin Steen vs. Bray Wyatt
Kenta vs. Daniel Bryan
Prince Devitt vs. John Cena
Ascension vs. Usos
Tyson Kidd vs. Cesaro


That is a card I would watch, as I am sure many would. NXT has had three huge names in Kenta, Steen and Devitt, you add them to the existing Zayn and Neville, and you have the NXT 5. This might be the term we use for these guys for years to come.  A Sami Zayn tweet led to WWE.com doing a sit-down interview with all five that was truly a great read. Seeing names like Adam Cole, The Young Bucks and John Gargano on that site kind of nuts. If you don’t know those names, you just do not have any clue of independent wrestling. Steen, Cole and the Bucks made Mount Rushmore in PWG. I hope to see them all in the WWE in 2015 they are all deserving.

WWE has really created their own super-independent show with WWE’s money and production values. At the same time, they are training staff in all aspects of a broadcast with their partnership with Full Sail University. They have given hardcore fans an option under the WWE umbrella to see the stars they have watched in outside promotions like ROH, NJPW and other places under their system on their WWE Network. Paul Levesque smartly is not ruling anything out in terms of NXT’s future.

WWE since they ended WCW in 2001 has been searching for competition. They attempted to create their own with the brand split but that never really worked in my opinion. Now in 2014 they may have found their competition in NXT. A group of hungry wrestlers that most of whom already have long resumes looking to bust open the doors to the main roster. If that doesn’t light a fire under the butt of people on the main roster, nothing will. I remember the first NXT Takeover that was their second special event. That week the NXT show had more buzz than the Payback show coming up on the Sunday. As expected, the NXT show delivered but it took a “B” level pay-per-view and lit a fire under some of the people on that card to make it one of the more unexpected great shows of the year.

The tag line for NXT being: The Future is Now. People are buying in even more than they are the WWE with the hardcore audience of wrestling in general and the WWE.

So for a certain type of fan NXT already is and to some extent always will be better than WWE. Ultimately, though NXT is about creating stars on that next level and so far, it has which is ultimately the job it is meant to serve. Having it become a popular and even more popular with some brand may not have been part of the plan but now it is. WWE can make money off NXT just as easily and they will still cash the checks.

NXT has become something greater than what one could have imagined as its goofy reality show origins.  It is now a brand that sports a roster than can compete with any company in the world. Even the one that owns it at times could be included in that. 

Next time you go to say something bad about Triple H remember that Paul Levesque created all of this that you love and can’t enough of in NXT. So maybe he is not the idiot or interested in burying people, as the internet would have you believe.

He is taking pictures with all of these guys and truly reveling in their success as he would his own maybe more so. Ultimately, their success is his success as is true for NXT as a brand and the Performance Center they train those NXT stars. It is all about the game and growing it for the next generation. This according to Sami Zayn already has the future of the WWE in 5 years ready to roll.

He makes a good case that is hard to argue as he has some talented friends to play with currently.